The Structure of the Tournament
There are 48 UEFA nations that can qualify for the competition proper. The host nation always secures an automatic berth, but the other teams must play in qualification rounds to reach the finals. The 47 teams are drawn into 2 groups of six teams and 7 groups of five teams, to make 9 groups altogether. Here they play in a double robin round against the other teams in the group, once home and once away. The 9 group winners and 3 best runners up qualify for the finals, whilst the other 6 runners up proceed to the playoffs. The 6 teams are paired and then they play a two legged match to determine which 3 teams will join the other 12 teams (plus the host nation) to make the 16 teams that make up the competition proper.
The teams that play in the competition proper are seeded into 4 groups of four, which are named Group A, Group B, Group C and Group D. They play one match against each of the other 3 contending teams, and at the end the teams who finished in first and second place in each group will proceed to the knockout round. In the case where two teams are tied on points, the tie breakers are determined by the points in head to head matches then goal difference and finally goals scored. If there is still no winner, the two teams have to go to a penalty shootout (if they are playing the last game of the group stage against each other. If there is still no way to determine a winner, disciplinary points will be checked between the two teams, and finally if there is no winner then the UEFA coefficient ranking is used. Tie breakers usually do not go down to the penalty shootouts, they are most often determined by the head to head results or the goal difference, and any other scenario is incredibly rare.
Once the winners and runners up have been determined, the winners of Group C face the runners up of Group D, the winners of Group A face the runners up of Group B, the winners of Group D face the runners up of Group C and the winners of Group B face the runners up of Group A. The teams play one match that can go to extra time and penalties if the result after 90 minutes or the extra time is a draw. After that, the winners proceed to the semi-finals, and then the winners of that round go to the finals, where the winner and new champions will be determined.
The competition usually lasts under a month, meaning that the 31 games that are played over the whole competition proper are played almost every day, giving fans a lot of matches to keep looking forward to.
Top Teams and Players to Watch
Germany - Jule Brand
Germany is the leading team with the most wins at the Euros. The nation has won the competition a record 8 times to date between 1989 and 2013, including a streak of 6 consecutive wins from 1995 to 2013. The current German team features some young players who are definitely worth watching as they try to impress on the biggest stage in Europe. Jule Brand, who plays for Hoffenheim is a flying winger who is capable of playing in a full back position as well. Born in 2002, she has a lot of good years ahead of her and she broke into the German national team in 2021. Despite her youth, Brand has already had a taste of victory with the national team, when she won the Women's Under 17 Euros in 2019. She told Eurosport that she has a clear goal: she wants to be part of the European Championship.
France - Naomie Feller
France has yet to win a Euro championship, although the French national team boasts a number of highly exceptional stars. On the club level, French teams such as Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique Lyonnais, Montpellier and Toulouse have all featured in European football and established a presence. Naomie Feller, born in 2001, plays for Reims on a club level, though she was taken on loan by Lyon. She achieved promotion with Reims and then scored twice against Lyon. Despite suffering a serious injury in 2021, Feller has proved that she is a promising striker. Her accomplishments go back to the 2019 Women's Under 19 Euro where she helped France win the competition. Now she looks set to become one of the all-time greats if she can continue her career as she started it.
England - Maya Le Tissier
Whilst the English team have never won a Euro, they have reached the semi-finals in 5 different tournaments and even made the finals twice. The team does not lack natural talent, and it seems that the English women's football team just needs a little better fortune and they may overcome the final hurdle and win their first international trophy. Maya Le Tissier, who is not related to Matthew Le Tissier, but she comes from the same Channel Island of Guernsey, is one of the young prospects in the English team. Born in 2002, Le Tissier joined Brighton in May of 2018 and immediately started showing strong determination and strength for a player so young. She is a defender who can play as a centre back or right back. She has put in a lot of impressive performances for the club, and she currently plays in the Under 19 England women's football team, but it is only a matter of time before she breaks into the first team.
Denmark - Emma Snerle
Denmark came the closest to their first win at the Euros in 2017, when they lost in the finals to the Netherlands. They have reached the semi-finals in 4 other instances and still await their first trophy in the competition. Perhaps with the help of their young striker Emma Snerle they may have a chance to win the trophy at some point in the near future. Born in 2001, this young striker started her career in a Danish local team, Fortuna Hjørring. She scored 16 goals in her 59 appearances as a youngster and that was enough to attract the attention of the London based club West Ham. In 2022 she signed with the London outfit. When she played in Denmark, she was playing regularly in the first team since the age of 16, and she also broke into the Danish national team in 2019. She has scored for her country as well to help them qualify for the 2022 Euros and is one of the most exciting young prospects to watch.
Norway - Elisabeth Terland
Norway is one of the top nations that plays in the Women's Euros. They have reached 6 finals, of which they have won twice, in 1987 and 1993. Elisabeth Terland is a player who is quickly making her name in Norway and internationally. She switched from Klepp IL to SK Brann Kvinner, in 2021, and helped them win the Toppserien. The striker, who was born in 2001, has played for the Norway national team since 2021 and has surprised coach Martin Sjögren, with him saying “Her foremost quality is finding the space between the opponent's defence and attack. Something that has surprised me is her ability to get past players.”